tv Andrew Mc Cabe and Carl Bernstein on Loyalty and Betrayal CSPAN October 10, 2019 3:04pm-4:27pm EDT
>> former acting fbi director andrew mccabe discussed his career. his firing from the fbi and the arrearages of the russian investigation. he was interviewed by investigative journalist carl bernstein at a conference hosted by the new school, in new york city. this is an hour and 20 minutes. >> [applause] president trump: thank you thank you so much for that warm welcome. and good evening ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests students, and all members of the new school community. thanks so much for inviting me to speak to you here tonight. it is truly an honor to address a group is engaged and quite frankly is large and terrifying for me as you all are right now.
but also to be able to do it on the hundredth anniversary of the new school. congratulation on your i anniversary and thank you for making me part of it. tonight i would like to talk to you a pit about loyalty. and about how my experiences in the fbi, shared me the majesty and the power of loyalty at its best. and the danger and manipulation of loyalty and pursuit of self-interest. the motto of the fbi his fidelity bravery, and integrity. the begins with fidelity. what is that. the quality or state of being faithful. and one is faithful. well according to merriam-webster, phyllis steadfast ands affection for allegiance and loyal. i think it's appropriate that the fbi, you begin swearing an
oath of loyalty to the concepts and the principles that we dedicate ourselves to. when you're in the course of our career. might be getting to place on a hot sunday night in july of 1996. i had been suffering as a miserable attorney. other miserable attorneys in the blaudience was and more this is new yorky, city so i know there are some here. a failure.e. [laughter] i really locked onto the idea of becoming an agent. while i was in moscow. the fbi was on a hiring freeze so i graduated from law school i went to workee for a small firmn camden, new jersey. wonderful town. i immediately put my application in as soon as they started accepting them. and i waited, and i waited. i remember, most viscerally, on
april 19th, 1995, sitting in my office the day that timothy mcveigh, drove a ryder truck up to the front of the federal building in oklahoma, city. detonated that truck killing a 160 americans and injuring about 500 others. and i spent the entire day, sitting in my office staring at the wall listening to the radio. i cannot break away from the coverage of that if it. it was somethingra about what ws happening on the ground that it couldn't explain it to myself at times, but i knew i wanted to be there. the need to be a part of that. to be in the rubble in spite of the smoky halls, helping those innocent people who had been touched. dreadfully by terrorism, and most important being part of that team was going to have the
responsibility to find this people responsible in bringing them to justice. so remember that time is being particularlyem tough. waiting for the fbi to give me a call. i did get it eventually in july of 1996. so on that sunday night, i packed my stuff drove down to quantico, virginia. it's a very regimented place. you know told exactly where to be and every minute of the day and you must be harley and dovulate, the whole 9 yards. so as soon as we got there, we were told we have a off an hour to eat and put on a suit and tie the report to the classroom. we were sworn in as special agents training at the fbi. your very first night in the fbi, you don't sleep until you gather together with your class of 40 or so, and you hold up your right hand and take the following oath.
you begin by staying, i enter mccabe, he was a name, don't get hung up on that. do solemnly swear, that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states a against all enemies foreign and domestic. and that i will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. that is a phrase that gets me the most. everybody thinks about the first clause the i will defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. this very powerful but it's the second cause really defines what you do as an fbi agent. i will bear truth faith and allegiance to the same. that same constitution, that binds us all to the principles of freedom, fairness, and justice. that is the source, that is what
you become loyal to. we do make that oath. notably, there is no president in that oath, there is no political party in that oath, there is no race, no gender, no sexual orientation. it is simply the pledge of loyalty to the document the binds us together as americans. it is the same oath that every public servant in the united states government takes. in each of us, it carries the same meaning. basically, that we will do our job, whatever it is, in accordancece with the principles of that constitution for the betterment of all americans . i started to learn how this happens when i had the opportunity, my first office of an assignment right here in the
big apple. new york city field office, not is it too far out down broadway from where we are sitting tonight. ii was first assigned there is n agent on the russian organized crime task force. i know, ironic right. [laughter] coincidence or not. i am not sure. but there, i had the opportunity to work alongside other people who had taken the same oath as me. people who share the same values, and the dedicated themselves to those values in a day-to-day loophole. also had the opportunity to work for leaders. they shared me by example what it meant to be loyal to those concepts, to those ideals and those values. and i have the ability to interact with and help victims ofan crimes.
intrinsically new that our loyalty to those concepts meant that we would help them. no matter who they were, where they were from, or with their immigrant ration status was. or anything else. probably the best example i can give you of this is my first big case on my squad. it is still very new in the new york office, new enough that i was showing up at work early the new yorkin office test. i was nots seasoned enough to realize that there are days dragged on into the evenings and it was better to come in a little bit later. nevertheless, i was the only one there when the phone rang one morning. and on the phone, i hear this gravelly voice of a man with a heavy russian accent who said to me, will first i had to introduce myself. i said, hello mccabe, fbi. the giggled music and believe i
was actually staying it. [laughter] the man on the other and said, i think i am being racketeers. extraordinary, i never thought of that word as a verb and sort of that way. but okay, let's go with it. so i talked to him and he laid out a story for me. the phillies was a furniture nistore owner. in a store in brookland, he was russian, he was here on a green card and i here for monday years and he was part of a community ofrd other furniture store owne. all russian, hard-working people, not making a lot of money making their way in this countryf paying taxes. living their lives in the same way that all of us do. earlier in his career, he had a partner, guy named demetri. dimitri left the store, québec to russia and spent a year in moscow and then returned to brookland with a new approach to live. dimitri decided he had become a
gangster. monday brits and run himself a small group of thugs and he said about doing what gangsters do. which is taking advantage of people in their own communities and extorting them for things like protection money, and collection kidnapping and things like that. so demetri had come to felix and said, i'm going to get all of the furniture store owners together and there'll going to start paying me for protection. i need you to help me with this. i need you to call them altogether. >> felix was outraged. he was nervous, and family and children and demetri knew them well, where he lived. but he was outraged and humiliated by what demetri was demanding from him and his friends. and remembering him staying to me on the phone, i don't need him clause i have you. and i know that moment, like the
fact that he came from a place where he could never have that loophole of faith and trust in the law enforcement officers that he interacted with day-to-day, but here it was w different here he had that sort of faith and trust in our syst system, he knew that as a member of this esteemed institution, the fbi, that i wouldtu remain loyal to my oath. and to those principles that i did my organization is for. and that i would actually help them. and we did. and that was why felix was inclined when we asked him to go to a meeting to organize this racket, wearing a concealed recording device. he didn't want to do it, he was scared but he trusted us and he did it anyway. that is why we need came out of that meeting, and demetri said to him on the street, referring to ahe woman who on store who refused to pay, i want the woman beaten and i want her in the
hospital for at least two weeks. that went out recording, we were able to make what turned out to be an unbelievable case. but the experience is like that, working cases with people that we interacted with across every sector of live in t the city, we saw the value and strength that our own loyalties place and the people that we worked with. and how the translated into justice. i also had the chance at the time here in new york and of course later headquarters to work for great leaders. leaders who taught me about creating environments of trust within the people you lead. so my first leader here in new york was a guy named ray carr, he was ours watch supervisor. alleged in the new york city field office. ray would come in every morning around eight or 830 and he was in the office until 830 or nine
by 30:10 o'clock every night. in the last few hours of every day, ray would spend just talking to us. talking to us about her cases, talking to us about her informants, listening to us complain about her prosecutors, which we did fairly frequently. but also talking to us about her wives and her kids and the renovations we are trying to do ourselves on our first houses. and how do you put a deck on the back in the backyard. he was just there for us. he was a guy who connected with us on a very personal loophole. and he exemplified a loophole of excellence and honesty and integrity that we all aspire to mimic in our own lives in a way that we worked our own cases. later when i move to headquarters, i had the opportunity to work recklessly for monday years with director muller. so the mistaken describe director muller to him as he is
exactly the guy you heard about. he fits the description to a t. people really got this guy figured out. he is the consonant investigator. the prosecutor, the cross to get diameter, director muller, never met a case that he didn't love and he wanted to get right down in the weeds of every one of them. they would use that knowledge, to grow us at the table in the morning. he would ask us questions, constantly challenging our knowledge of the facts, and both of or not we have followed up on the things that he had asked us to do the day before, and above that, was mildly terrifying and stressful at the time i realized later as a leader in the fbi, and what he was doing was teaching us and communicating the loophole of excellence and the loophole of understanding that he demanded of each of us. run a business with no margins preventing acts of terrorism,
it's not like you can get most of them. you have to get them all. in understanding this demands, erector roller communicated to us exactly how much emphasis he placed on our expertise. but is also incredibly fair-minded. and off of he'd push you to the limits at the table, he was the same guy who called me the day after my i got hit by a car riding my bike, he called me to find out how he was doing. heavily on painkillers at the time so it is a strange conversation that i cannot exactly recount at this moment, but another caring moral leader with integrity who served as a great example to the people he led.d. so you can imagine my shock when on the evening of may 9th, 2017, after having been informed maybe a off an hour earlier, by the attorney general that he had
had fire the fbi director, i received a call my staff received a call and said, the president would like to see you in the oval office. so i had never been to the oval office. and into a thousand meetings in the white house and the situation room, and members of the national security council. some of which were attended by president obama. i had never met with a president in the oval office. simply as a career government survey, going to the oval office, is an awe-inspiring if it. no matter who is sitting in the office at the time. i walked in, president trump was seated behind the desk. the incredible solid ornate beautiful resolute desk. he popped up quickly and came around the desk with a hand out his fingers all stretched out at me and immediately shook my hand
and began talking. i knew surprised. [laughter] president trump is an overwhelming communicator. the big man and he speaks loudly, and constantly. he launched into a tirade of really statements, not so much questions, just statements which i later learned was his way of informing me of the facts that he wished me to adopt. he said, so glad you are here, this is going to be great, but got rid of dummy this thing his going to be great every savvy, did you hear everybody is happy about this. i'm sure everybody is happy about it. seen people that are happy about it they have about this. what you think about is great isn't terrific. fortunately he did end with a question. i didn't really know how to respond to his assertions. he said, i heard you were part
of the resistance. totally caught me offguard. i'm not sure what you understand sir. he said, i heard you know part of the group that didn't like jim tony. you didn't approve of what he did. in these cases and you didn't agree with him and you didn't agree with his decisions and you objected to the way that he worked these cases. is that right. >> i said, no star that is not right. cli work very closely with joan coming in and we work on those pieces together. i was a part of most of those decisions, i agreed with most of them. i know some people have disagreements with the way that we handled some of our hard decision but i was part of that team and i don't think you are correct about that. so the moment, my impulse was
simply to made it through the question honestly. that's what we do. it was only later that i realized that this was my loyalty test. jim coming with had curiously had his and his private dinner with the president shortly after his inauguration. for the president came right out and set a t need you to be loya. so there was no interpretation need it there. it was pretty direct. i realize that this was my version of that same loyalty test. the president clearly laid out the i don't want to call facts he wished i would adopt and then gave me that opportunity, hung that lifeline in the water to say you know either with us or against us. it didn't even occur to me at the time to respond to that. in any way other than correct. so the course of other several interactions withns him, the net morning on the telephone, and the later that day in the
afternoon, and a follow-up meeting i had with him a few weekss later. i saw things about president trump his leadership style that i had never seen in the fbi. as all the way that his staff and advisors would sit at attention in a small row of chairs gathered in front of the resolute desk. as all the way that he tried to manipulate he and his advisors try to manipulate me into inviting him to speak at the uber building that week. i saw the way he reflectively again and again came back to references about my wife failed political campaign in a state of virginia and 2015. and consistently referred to it as a mistake that i made. leaders don't, this was not a leader who is creating an a environment of trust. these were obvious efforts to coerce me into a position to
take that loyalty i'd had with the course of my career and shifted the loyalty to a person rather than to an ideal and rather to the constitution. you know we all know how the story plays out proportionally. over the days that followed those meetings, i had the opportunity or the obligation to make a series of decisions in the cases we were working that ultimately i believe is what led to my own firing from the fbi. in some way. those decisions have been characterized as acts of treason. we have been referred in the group of us that worked on those issues have been referred to as plotting to overturn the presidency. and of those words are nice. i think there intentionally weapon eyes together people his attention to a certain set of talking points.
to draw in viewers and listeners and clicks on the internet. i'll leave it up to you. i'm going to tell you exactly what we saw and exactly what we knew at that time and what we thought about the decisions we were making and you can be the judge as to both of or not those decisions were an act of professional integrity and effect loyalty to the responsibilities that we had at the time. or some sort of treasonous. when ask you for a minute on your investigators had and think about the fact that we had in our hands over the period leading up to the firing of jacoby and immediately after. keep in mind, the standard for opening fbi case, has given to us by the attorney general and the attorney general guidelines. is when we have information credible articulable information to indicate that a threat to
national security might exist within a federal crime might have taken place. medicine standard to open a fold field would investigation. the most robust and capable investigative activity we might have. so go back in time, three investigators plans, after the fall of 2014. in the fall of tran14, and then through 2015, we knew that the russian government was behind an aggressive series of cyber attacks that were focused on institutions government institutions in dc at the highest loophole, academic institutions, and also political think tanks. we were sure why they were doing it, but we knew that they were behind this activity. like his sister 2014 and 2015. it is 2016, we see the aggressions and the targeting of the activity becomes more
specific. we then uncover science the democratic national committee may be a target of this lien russian activity. through. a system source we don't communicate very well with the dnc and telling them that they should check their systems and see if they see actual evidence of this sort of probing and intelligence collection of and we know the adversary engages them. then as get deeper in 2016, we see that activity is focused specifically on e-mails at the dnc and other places associated with hillary clinton and her campaign.. unbeknownst to us, in may, 2016, an individual with a truck campaign and george papadopoulos, has a meeting with a friendly foreign diplomat in which he tells that diplomat but the russians have informed them
that they have a lot of negative information about clinton, and they offered to help the campaign with that and using that information. we don't know this may. you enter june and july and what happens. now we see the information we know the russians have taken is actually weapon eyes. his released on the eve of the convention in an effort to harm senator clinton. staying that activity, a friendly foreign diplomat realizes the significance of the information he has, he's received it from mr. papadopoulos, and he then passes that to us. so the end of july, 2016, we know for a while that the russians have been targeting our political systems and we know they are doing it through cyber means, we know they taken this information from the democratic infrastructure and use it against candidate clinton and
matt now we know from someone in theur campaign, that they were t least aware of the fact that the russians have this information and were wheeling to make it available. so the obvious question for us then yes is it possible and do we now have information that are most significant adversary in the world stage, might be working in concert with the domestic political campaign to undermine the stability and sanctity of our democratic elections. e we make that decision to open the russia case on those and for that reason. when the case in w the money now thank who actually investigate. that's a good question. we know who is associated with who has known significant a ties to russian intelligence. we quickly come up with four names that were not surprise you. mr. papadopoulos, clause he's the guy who made the statement.
i'll bet for, wellte known befoe that time to have had high-level contacts t political contacts in ukraine, candidates are supported by russia. michael planned, simply clause he has engaged in some very high levels and very public interactions with vladimir putin and of the russians. in an individual named carter page. our bench was a guy who not to us for monday years to come up in an earlier encounter intelligence case actually been interviewed and alerted my our agents and the concerns we had about the people he was interacting with. and who then went and shared that information with them after the briefing. so carter was a person who was and had significant former contacts with russianrm intelligence. so the four cases were open on the basis. what happens when we go into the fall..
so the intelligence community comes together produces the intelligence community assessment and the ica, which concludes, unanimously across our three agencies and the nsa cia and fbi. the russian intentionally meddled in the campaign. president trump is inaugurated in january, they began the seriesis of odd and concerning interactions with director coming. always she requested a pledge of loyalty. i would keep repeatedly requested that he would make a public statement he's not on investigation and demands that he left the cloud over the investigations. these are all concerning to us. me and asked us to close the investigation into my plan. that for me personally was a pit of a row, that we had cross. up until that.we never were quite sure of these audit interactions and requests, just the act of somebody who doesn't understand the intricacies of and sensitivity of the white house fbi relationship.
but with thehi request close investigation and declared us. lihe does not like the fact that we are investigating russian involvement in that campaign. and then of course in may, president trump fires doctor cumming. after he fired him and the day before, but is made final yes the deputy attorney general, to write a memo justifying the firing. ninety s&w attorney general please put russia in your memo. wd attorney said i don't think that's a good idea. direct anderson you feel that way but i'm asking you to do that anyway. after he fires the director, he tells lester holt, on the news that he firedir the director, he was thinking about russia. then the next w day, he tells te russians, that he fired the director doing so had relieved a
lot of pressure from the russia investigation. so with that knowledge, the investigator had tightly pulled over your head. i see you are all considering this closely. ask yourself, have we met the standard for an investigation. do we have information that might indicate that a threat to national security could exist or a federal crime good been committed. that was the question that confronted me on may 9th in the days following, and ultimately determined to open a case on the president of the united states. act of treason, the applauding of the two against the united states of america. i think not. but it was, us doing our jobs. where the investigators, not the prosecutors not the judge.
we have been the case using clearly having the facts are predicated. we didn't do it clause it we thought it would be cool or fun or interesting will endure clause we're going to help one side or the inside. we did it simply clause it was our responsibility to do so. we take the responsibility incredibly seriously. to not do so, on the circumstances would have been a darrell of duty. as failure in the loyalty we hd all pledged to that constitution. they failed to act, at that time clause the person involved was the president of the united states, would have been even worse. we would've been undermining the bedrock assumption that all people in this country, none of
them are above the law. including the president. so we remained loyal to that oath and that responsibility, and to our commitment to treat everyone the same on the law. so here we are, two years later and we are still struggling with the same concepts. we still feel words like steep state or treason arere plottingo use. the frustrating thing for me in the way that our work has been i think unfairly criticized is that it also applies the good work admitted women who are devoted the service of this country. and by doing so it dishonors their commitment and the value they bring to all of our lives. i worry about our ability to continue to attract the best and brightest in public service. i worry about those colleagues and former colleagues of mine to
continue to surf in government, and to have confronted the questions the same sort of questions that we did. you stand up and made it through the things you believe in and you speak out, and if by so you run the risk of being publicly scorned by the president of the united states or maybe even being fired 26 hours before you achieve your pension. to you concerned citizens, politically aware people who care about you community in the sort of issues, my only request is that in any way that you can you stand up, stand up for the things you believe in. speak out about the things you see that are wrong. do it even when it is hard to do it even when it i could hurt you
personally. after everything i've been through in the last few years, i stand here before you battered but not broken. and i can honestly tell you that it is taken back to those times i would make every decision the same way again tomorrow. it is worth it. it is worth it for the men and women who are surfing today, it is worth it for the i whistleblower stepped up in the last week and a off and kind of thrust us into the current controversy that we are all thinking about.t that is the way out of the time when concepts like loyalty have been destroyed at this disfigured into pledges of personal loyalty. on this time by focusing on those things that igniteti us that commitment to e constitution, and the beautiful concepts that embodies everybody. if you veryev much for listening and i would now ask
it's an extraordinary tale about a person his journey through national service and where that national service is broken down among others. also, about where we are in the country today. i think there is a lot to learn in here and in what you have just touched on, it is raised a number of specific and general questions that i would like to ask you. let's start with the first given what we have seen of the temperament of the president of the united states in the last week.un what it's not in your book, is the discussion that you know president at about the invocation of the 25th amendment. what provoked that discussion and who had it and tell us about
it. >> his on the days following jim's firing, but a series of meetings with the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein, first in a one-on-one exchange, on a friday of that week, would've been the 12th. and that over the days that followed. we slightly larger groups of people never particularly big. it was in one of those first meetings, that rod raised the idea of the 25th amendment. in the course of a wild and chaotic conversation about what the president had done and what he may have been thinking we need did it. >> what the president has been specifically, when and where. so around the issue and rod and i were discussing of course the firing of jim coming. and why jim had been fired. and both of or not the president
was, more to it essentially than the reasons that rod had memorialized in his memo. and so in that, in the course of the conversation that rod first offered to wear a wire into the white house,. >> do you remember his words. >> i do remember him staying cathat he pointing out the fact that he didn't get searched we need went into the west wing. and so therefore he felt he could wear a recording device that no one would know he had it. >> so there could be nothing to the storyry given your descriptn but y this was some kind of jok. >> absolutely not a. joke. in fact he raised it in front of others on and later meetings and so i pointed out to people that he had made this to me i've course thought it was an unbelievably bad idea. i kind of put the whole thing aside by staying well, i'll talk to the investigative team and if that's something they want to do, then come back to you and
ask you for that authority. and of course we never did. i remember going back and telling my team back fbi headquarters included the general counsel, jim baker, and some of their senior leaders who were working the case. negatively this, but the deputy attorney general offered to wired up to the whitey house. [laughter] the fbi his lawyer jim baker, is incredibly very goodguy, and a lawyer, but also in its intensity to be a little stressed out, he said oh my gosh, you are not doing that. he said i'm not asking you, i'm just telling you the story for a comic effect. this is something we ever consider doing. similarly rods, about 20 for the movement both of or not the president was kind of capable and who would be inclined to support such an effort. was really, i never considered it seriously in any way. first of all some process that the acting director of the fbi
would have done. >> was in that discussion about the 25th amendment. >> rod brought it w up. probably not enough her spinning bloody and a second and maybe third meeting. so this a very small group of people. myself, his chief off staff, another woman from his staff, and then in the third meeting within one or two other people. >> the reason for his advocate tatian being the firing is self rated are some temperamental. >> is hard for me to say exactly. i can't really fully describe for you how stressful the time was. and that stress was really having a deep impact on mr. rosenstein. the conversations we had were kind of freewheeling off of the top of his head comments. sometimes we would go from discussing one person to another person and it was an entire clearly toer me both of he was referring to someone as a possible candidate for the special counsel role referring
to someone as a possible candidate for the director his job, it was a very chaotic and emotional exchange. >> but it did not go to a question about the president his stability. >> no. it is more like rod was kind of using off of the top of his head about who would support such an effort. who else would think the president. >> you have to do through the cabinet. >> that's right. jackie talked about those chairs lined up in front of the resolute desk and i'm sitting there thinking about wilbur ross and staying no yeah that's an idea. since 22020 clause amendment on the sky. >> it's not something that turn into an actualan effort. his offhanded mention i didn't even include in my book. >> there's been a lot of talk about the president of the united states by those around him, by the attorney general of the united states, about a deep
state. in some kind of deep state plot that really, it's not the russians who are behind everything but rather there is something deeper here. goes to others, the democrats, who knows where. and yet, isn't there a real history and the institution that you work for, in cia, not that long ago, evidence of a real and dangerous deep state. in terms of that existed on fbi director uber. in the committees of congress at that outside internal security committee. cia, in its buying loan and
breaking into, people his premises who are on suspicion people. so when did this deep state cease to exist if you accepted to you except that with the fbi at one point was hard to something that might be called a deep state. >> i would propose to define the concept. but i will absolutely say that in the course of the fbi his history, we do look back on the fbi his intelligence program, there were decades of illegal activity. activity that quite frankly, was an embarrassment for the institution to the nation. should never have taken place. our history and particularly on the intel site, is checkered at best. but the defining moment was
truly the church commission hearings and the effort of people like bobby kennedy and others who confronted this thing head on and ultimately brought the fbi to place an estate. i would suggest that the fbi most people know, and expect, is the host loser, fbi, and we all have experience with. >> you came in 96. >> i did. these dive boat activities, you something of that they were done by the time youre got there. >> there are certainly activities that the equity i engages in the people don't approve it. but they are nevertheless, awf awful. and closely scrutinized by the courts and congress. so that fbi boulware cooper
basically, have political deals with enemies of the live use the agency essentially to zone to the aggregation of the power it's not the fbi for the note. >> the molar investigation. did the final report itself, fall short of the maximum use of what information was developed by the fbi and other investigators and was there something in the way that the report was written or assembled that accounts for what i and other reporters werets told a fw weeks before the report was released, that and i quote was given the fbi senior officials and prosecutors on mr. moeller, were demoralized. but the final stages of the process and by what was going into the report. were you aware ofng that and
doctor was a little bit about that. >> sure, i can't speak to the morale of the team. i have not been connected with the spokes as i left the bureau. i've read the same reports, you can't say how accurate that is. as far as the report goes, for my personal perspective, i was both kind of amazed and impressed by some aspects of it and then a little disappointed by other aspects as well. much of the same way that monday folks who really read it, and dug into this. >> what disappointed you. and in mr. moeller his performance and for congress, disappoint you. >> when i read the report particularly about obstruction.
that to me is very much the product a bumbler. he sat down and the whole thing by himself. but what comes out of that, is a moeller his sense of fairness, and propriety. but more i thinknk went as far s he possibly could, essentially called every ball in the president his favor. despite that, the report the details, ten separate categories of obstructive behavior, i think any of those ten categories, he finds that the presidents behavior has essentially satisfied all of the elements of the essence obstruction of justice. we know that he limited himself to a fall of the said you sleep the doj policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted. and then in his own sense of fairness, decided that it would
also be improper to say that anyone else who would committed these acts, would likely be charged with obstruction of justice. >> josie did the same thing also. in an accident investigation. he also did not specifically accuse nixon. he gave a roadmap. is that what moeller did. >> i believe it is. partially the roadmap is incredibly dense. it's tough to follow. so you lose the opportunity to kind of deliver that final conclusion. you lose aio lot of the audienc. so in an effort that essentially, what happens with the report as basic in some extent on how strongly people feel about it. you miss out when the opportunity to kind of show folks how substitute it is. you've got a really wade that thing with the lawyers i detail an investigators eye for detail to appreciate it. i think is important. i don't think people are interested enough in it or have the time. >> there's nothing in the report as i recall it talks about any
significant communications between palm and four and the and donald trump the candidate. did you or were you aware of any such communications. divorce, on the investigation that you undertook and it might not of been put in a report? can you tell us a little bit about that? scenic i do know that i can't tell you. i'm getting so [laughter] >> it probably bigelow lives. >> you got remember, we handed off those cases in a very kind of early stage. was unaware of any information like that. the time we had with cases often special counsel. i don't know what they found or what they chose to put in our just of the doubt. >> the universe i any information whatsoever in the 302, or anything else, that
would have any bearing on conversations or communications between metaphor and the president. the candidate. cfl phrase it differently. i am not aware of any information that i think should have been given greater consideration two. >> okay.id you were among those supervising the hillary clinton investigation. did she undermine the national security of the united states. in her installation and use of that server. >> i've been asked lot of questions about that case another one. good onve you. look, i think that the entire staff infrastructure, not just secretaryas clinton, but her cle
associates and advisors and those communicants for interacting with her over the e-mails, every day, they were just simple fact that they were doing so over architecture that didn't carry the united states governments typical loophole of cybersecurity protection, that is dangerous activity. >> was a negligence,. >> i'm not going to read the right clinical call. it was irresponsible. then there are monday reasons why they did that. they were hampered byat particularly for systems at the department, there were folks said that circle of communicants who are not particularly tech savvy. they were operating on intense demands. i am absolutely confident in our conclusion that none of them,
secretary or any of herf associates, engage in the behavior intentionally. to violate the statute or to conceal or mishandle classified information. i don't believe they made. >> particular from any possible eyest that might use it in a variously like the best right-wing conspiracy. >> comes our conclusion in the case. that ultimately at the end of the day, do we find of misuse of the milk, yes we didn't find any evidence that was done, intentionally. and that went out that element of intent, you cannot improve the benefits of their fully recommended that just does not go further. >> in the campaign, before trump nominated, did you think the
bio large, the press coverage of hillary clinton's server was unfair to her. >> i don't know that i thought about it in terms of both of the press coverage is fair or unfair. but it was certainly, if constant pressure on the work that we are doing. i often get asked by why did you handle cases differently. why would you open the case, clause the trump campaign to investigate possibly working for russians, you to think quietly, overtly and so forth but in the present case, was wide open. >> you have to understand that the clinton case was public before we got it. gary referrals that we received from the state and i cig that initiated an fbi investigation were public. the director and the attorneyy
general soon after we opened the case publicly acknowledged it. f so that public nature of the case, drove a ton about reporting the you know reporting referring to. not only was it already public the relentlessub reporting run every little issue, really elevated the pressure to get that job done in a way that if we could, before it would have an impact on the campaign obviously. this not how things ended up b but. >> mr. and more, the attorney general, has been a worldwide surge for what he apparently believes or wants to believe is the steep state camp scarcity within the intelligence community and the obama administration. the impetus, for your investigation of the russian interference in the campaign and you said on cnn this week, the circumstances and you describeu
them are not a mystery, and that you've touched on the issues in the book and you told us a little bit about it here but what else about the instigation of the investigation haven't you told us. [laughter] and i think there is something. >> esquire great reporter. never satisfied with what is already known. >> tell usis a little bit about what you might make your made it through a little bit more full. >> i can't carl. as we walked through when you're in my comments here tonight. it is basically what we do. we do more detail about russian cyber activity. we have more tactical detail about what they were doing and but thoseere doing it are course details that i cannot share. but essentially,. >> have you left anything big out. >> no a.
i did this specifically clause people should understand that the fbi, number one, if we had open cases clause we think like a destiny or the long press or something like that. we open cases when on our authorityy, we think it is required to do so. it's called the threshold of information is what you refer to as predication for a case. . . . >> a two-year special counsel
investigation resulted in what? three dozen indictments? volume one of the report so the results of the special counsel's efforts no matter how climactic they think they are validated our concerns july 2016 and in may. >> my reading of the mueller report is there is a great deal there forget about the extraction part but the actual contacts between russian aspects of the trump campaign. . >> the level of detail was extraordinary and any intelligence officer expose the level of detail of different intelligence agencies and that was remarkable. if you are into that sort of
thing so with that instigation of the investigation what role did the dossier play and what is your evaluation of what it is and represents. is a really intended to be a raw intelligence document? some from good sources are bad sources what is it and what is the role in the investigation? >> first it had no role in the initiation of the rush investigation. we didn't even have it. that was july 30th we didn't even get the dossier until mid or late september. that played no role of the case.l opening of the >> that is contrary to what
the president man - - maintain. >> i'm sure it is. [laughter] it did play a role in our pursuit of a warrant from the fisa court to initiate electronic surveillance on carter page. it was not the sum total of request for the fisa authority. it was part of some of the information that was of that package and not all of it. i have been many times this quoted from close testimony that if you need to quote somebody that is frustrating. that we would not have gotten the pfizer warrant without the dossier prickle that has never been my position. what i have said it is impossible now having sent in the request with the dossier
and the other information about carter page for anyone to say could you have gotten ito without that? you cannot take that out retroactively. >> in the dossier itself with thoseth 40 paragraphs there were some good leads. >>ca yes. there was a lot of information that we could not disprove. there was a fair amount of a information. >> a lot that you could not disprove. >> affair of information we knew was accurate but always questions with respect to timing so when you get reporting from aou source you have to determine even if it's correct you have to figure out if there are other ways you may have come across the information. >> my reading of it and tell me if this seems right to you.
was that steele did not pretend the information was definitive. rather they were from sources and he was outside russia himself he had sources from when he was inside russia when he could communicate with some of them outside and threw some intermediaries that were still inside. and there are varying levels of which there is plausibilit plausibility, accuracy, but it was not intended to be a definitive document. >> that is ross source reportin reporting. >> it was presented as such it is the kind of thing we see often from sources. we knew steele was working a number of different sources, some had some sources
and he would represent that in the report as any good source should. it didn't come that this is gospel but this is what i'm hearing. that's how good sources report. a lot of the information, some of that was consistent with reporting from other sources to his credit. he had a history of good reporting. es provided information on other cases like russia organized crime, information judged to be so accurate it would be used in arrest warrants and indictments. he had a verys. solid track record and provided this information accurately describing. some of it he that was resolved others he said i'm getting this from another person but i cannot vouch for the chain in this is just for
your information. >> let's give the audience a chance to ask questions. >> hello bob. he is a great journalist and now publisher. >> i've never quite understood it's an honor to be in the same room with you. if you were getting this intel in 15 and early 16 about the russians engaging in cyberwarfare, was is
transmitted to the president of the united states? you have people running nsa and cia as obama is president and i would assume if you were getting this intelligence, it would be appropriate for obama to go to putin to say cut this out or really bad stuff will happen. did that happen? is that not how the fbi works quick. >> let me add to the question did secretary clinton convey anything like that to the russians? >> she would not have been, 16? you're talking 15. first of all, that was information that was known across the intelligence community. so there is no question people were aware what was going on. but your question gets to the heart of an issue that we still struggle with is how does the intelligence community handle highly
sensitive intelligence about cyberactivity. if you go forward to make warnings or threats to your adversary you know what's going on then they you move to different infrastructure or threat vector and you lose that visibility on the threat. it's not dissimilar the even with human sources if they give you information if you immediately turn around and use that inar a search warrant then you could burn that source. so it is that same sort of concern in the cyberrealm even more sensitive and harder to grapple with. i cannot sit here and tell you what the president was briefed ons personally.
>> i have a two-part question the first part relates to the infamous deal that a sitting president cannot be guided but if that is not enough because of that principle. >> so what is the question? so this is the high principal they have been saying from the beginning that nobody is above the law. we've heard this ad nauseam. >> you want to try to answer that? >> sure. it is a policy of the department of justice. it is not law but a policy based on the lawyers interpretation of the constitution. they feel it is unconstitutional to indict a
sitting president because essentially all the effort and time and attention it would take the president to defend himself personally essentially you are taking that resource away from the country that elected him. i don't know if i agree but that is the principle. >> it goes back to nixon and the same decision was made with nixon spirit that could be rescinded by the department of justice of their iinterpretation changed. >> so what about the case of the the man who changed his opinion that something is wrong here so can they
>> i am absolutely optimistic of her future and the future of this nation. we are stronger than the times we are in right now. we have been through a worse crisis in this country before. we have gotten through those crises by rallying around those things that bind us together with the understanding we all want to live in someplace that is free and fair and just. ng have drifted from that for the moment. we have tough situations to get through before we get back to appreciating each other and where we are on that level but absolutely no doubt we will get back to that time. what it will take is ethical transparent leadership that is truly dedicated to uniting this country and serving the rule of law. [applause] >> thank you. >> the theme of the lecture is loyalty i have a question about attorney general bar. why do you think the ag is
acting and interest instead of taking the impartial position and what do you think his actions mean for the future of the department of justice? >> great questions. the first i really cannot answer. it would not be fair for me to speculate on why. it's more important to focus on the things that he's actually doing and what a departure this is from attorneys general we have seen over the last series of attorneys general. there is no question his efforts like the revelations the last week to travel around the world to pursue this investigation is completely consistent with the presidents preferred narrative. so things like that are
ultimately harmful to the reputation of the department. and again, i don't think it will be fatal to the department but we have got to get back to a position where we all have faith the leadership of the department of justice is acting on the law and facts and not politics. >> do you have suggestions or ideas? [laughter] >> they know where i live. >> i will just point out talking about the independence of the attorneys general go back to watergate there were to nixon's attorneys general were implicated in watergate one went to jail for a considerable amount of time. >> first of all thank you for being in amazing role model ofin
integrity. we need that. so with the irreparable damage to gather intelligence for decades has been lost do you feel there is irreparable damage by exposing people or methodology? or that is underrated quick. >> i think the damage done to the intelligence community right now i don't think is air repairable. my guess it's more on the human side than the technical side. people in the community commit their lives to do hard and stressful and dangerous work for the sole purpose to provide information and diinsight to decision-makers and ultimately the president of the united states so when they
get back these consistent messages the president doesn't trust them or use the information they are sending then interested in educating itself then that is dispiriting for those people.re my hope is they are hanging on through this hard time and once again they work for a leader who appreciates and values their contribution that they can bounce right back to the high level of performance they have always delivered. and thank you for being here. my question is and staying on
the topic of loyalty and the trail. and to the american people specifically. and somebody who is betraying the country. >> it is so incredibly damaging. so i have been the subject of the same sort of lies. as someone who spent my career or my country to be called a liar and guilty of treason is as bad as it gets. and full disclosure as somebody who ran an executive branch agency, whistleblowers are not a happy day because
there is another whistleblower report out of your agency. nobody likes that but we all understand and w respect the role that whistleblowers play to keep us a highly functioning and accountable organization. so of those that the leader can deal with that the way we address fraud and waste and abuse of oversight. so people feel comfortable if they are courageous enough and willing to step up. and provide for their complaints that whistleblower statute is one of the laws
that sees faithfully executed so there is no conflict there it is incredibly damaging and i'm sure that's terrifying to the person. >> so the testimony before congressgr and with those discussions was away from that so don't youu think the ruler that was characterized as a patriot, should he not have been more explicit or outspoken to inform the american public about what he had learned in the investigation? >> i will say this. as a viewer i would have preferred a more dynamic
presentation but as someone who worked very closely with director mueller, i understand that what we saw was an incredibly cautious report. i'm sorry as director mueller clearly did not want to push the questions on either side or be perceived as favoring one side or the othernt in his way to ensure he did not do that is he would not stray one, or. o or one word so he backed himself into a corner where he would not provide any answers and that undermines the appeal and the effectiveness of the testimony. >> he could have repeated those to make it better known to the public.
>> you do the testimony knowing that most will not read the 400 page report it's ever more accessible way i'm not sure they accomplish that. >> so these are not normal times. it is straightth up fascism. we see this with the evidence that is there and the rule of law can only mean something if something is done with what's happening. what will you do if trump is reelected? even with the electoral college losing the popular vote and what would you do if trump loses the election but then refuses to recognize the
results? >> we will make at the last question. [laughter] >> you couldn't cut it off one more earlier? [laughter] >> that's a serious question. >> i understand your frustration a couple things. i think the thing to, do now is if you feel that way is to get involved in the process. get out there and support the candidates in the people that you think best represent you and your community in this country. not just to say i will go to the polls. back get out and work for the people you believe in. the best way to turn it over is the process i don't know what taking it to the streets means i don't know how we
accomplish a productive change but you have to convince people to get off their butts and go to the ballot box and vote for the leaders that you have faith in. as long as this concern you hear her voice whether or not the president will accept the result if he loses inn 2020 or whenever, i don't worry about that. i don't think he'll be happy about it. it probably will not be a cordial departure. [laughter] that we have systems and processes and authorities. >> he has been shredding the rule of law ever since he is in office. >> i understand what you are saying but i'm just not willing to throw in the towel on that yet. everybody sees it differently and that's okay but i do think when the time comes it will be
chaotic and uncomfortable but at the end of the day the peaceful transition of power has happened over 240 years i have faith in our ability to make that happen under any circumstances. >> take you to the audience but also for your extraordinary presentation. [applause] >> and thank you for agreeing to be the moderator. [applause]